Truth Decay and Trust in Institutions

The words Truth Decay over a fading American flag painted on wood

Photo by vepar5/Adobe Stock


Thurs., June 7, 2018


6:00 p.m. Reception
7:00 p.m. Program


RAND Corporation
1200 South Hayes Street
Arlington, VA 22202

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Over the past two decades, confidence in major institutions, such as government and the media has dropped sharply, and skepticism about research findings from fields ranging from science to economics is increasingly common. This decline of trust in formerly respected sources of information is one of the major trends characterizing “Truth Decay,” the diminishing role of facts and evidence-based analysis in American public life. As a nonpartisan institution that seeks to advance the public good through research and analysis, RAND is concerned about the threat Truth Decay poses to policymaking and is working to help find solutions, through research and partnerships.

The Pew Research Center is concerned about these same trends and is studying public attitudes related to these issues through its “Trust, Facts, and Democracy” project. Pew’s Carroll Doherty will join RAND’s Jennifer Kavanagh for a discussion about the causes and consequences of Truth Decay and declining trust in institutions.

Jennifer Kavanagh

Associate Director, Strategy, Doctrine, and Resources Program, RAND Arroyo Center; Political Scientist, RAND; coauthor, Truth Decay: An Initial Exploration of the Diminishing Role of Facts and Analysis in American Public Life

Carroll Doherty

Carroll Doherty

Director, Political Research, Pew Research Center


winfield boerckel

Winfield A. Boerckel

Vice President, RAND Office of External Affairs

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